tv Capital News Today CSPAN January 3, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST
secret to the sensitivity to the party activist, and i will leave a big impact, not only >> you are also going to see a lot of real cuts between now and then. people will know what it is like to see government spending. how will these people respond and who will they be? will they be striking teachers or firemen or policeman? or will you see a public-sector backlash. will people stay permanently unemployed or underemployed and respond in some way? we really only saw the tea party in the last election and these are the regular union suspects. next election, there will be other groups with names to counter what they say. it is hard to predict what they will look like. my suggestion would be public
service workers, unemployed, underemployed, people protesting trade issues. a different mix, but not your typical tea party agenda. >> i would like to thank all three of you. [applause] >> i think that the value to people like gail and tony, these people have really touched the bone. they have spent time with the people that we read about. and they know them on a personal basis and have a sense of who they are as people. that is very important in understanding what is going on. i will turn it over to tony. wait a minute.
this is the famous presentation. gail, tony, this is the handsome vinyl briefcase. look what i brought with me. >> we certainly thank you and appreciate your time this morning. on behalf of the washington center, thank you for spending your morning with us. [applause] >> the 112th congress gathered on wednesday with the election of a new house speaker and a vote on new rules. watch live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on "washington journal."
>> with the new congress dampening -- caviling in on wednesday, republicans will try to repeal the new health care law that passed last year. on friday they will hold a procedural vote and a final house vote will likely take place next wednesday. the senate is not expected to take up a health care repeal measure. >> the new congress gets sworn in this week. more about that in a moment. at the end of next week, the republican national committee will decide who will be the party chairman. today, the candidates, and current-including michael steele, debated the future of the party. that is next on c-span. after that, california gov. jerry brown is sworn into office and later, a form on the new congress and president obama. -- a form on the new congress and president obama. "washingtonow's
journal, we will talk to representative frank alone. after that, juan zarate on the situation in pakistan and afghanistan then, david blistered will give an update on the housing market and the u.s. economy. washington journal each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> earlier, republican chairman michael steele debated for challengers in the debate. chairman steele was asked about his management of party operations and finances. this debate was moderated by grover norquist. this is 90 minutes.
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. my name is grover norquist. i serve as president of americans for tax reform. two years ago, we hosted a similar debate for the chairmanship of the rnc. there are 168 members that will be making the decision on the chairmanship. this is a decision that affects everybody who cares about the country, the republican party, the center-right movement.
at the time, we suggested the same offer to the democratic party and the past on that type of transparency. most recently the head of the dnc announced he thinks he will be chairman again here yen. we have now a tradition with this being the second of the debates and forums and election cycles with the debate for a. and i want to thank all of the rnc members who will be casting a vote shortly. i want to ask them to stand. [applause] i certainly want to thank all of the candidates who are standing
for office. i want to thank those that submitted questions. we had over 900 questions submitted to the web site. 3 million hits on the web sites. a lot of interest in this election i want to thank the susan b. anthony list. debateost for today's tucker carlson asng questions. >> thank you. we have been covering this election pretty aggressively, so it is an honor to be here, almost a combination of the story. the candidates by lottery have been assigned places on stage in
the order of e questions -- and the order of the questions has been determined the same way. it is fair and they have also agreed to the rules. we will have series of different questions and formats, which will explain as we go along. in round three we willave an opportunity for people watching this debate in this room and on c-span to ask their own questions by twitter. if your interested in submitting a question, please do so. it is rnc debate. we will pose those questions in round three. the candidates will start off with opening statements of two minutes. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, it is time
for some tough love at the republican national committee. how can and an organization that lost its credibility, and $20 million in debt, deep in his management and, actually lead us into the next election cycle of 2012 and offering change? i think it is time for real change. the rnc has been the most important and relevant and impact all political organization in well over a generation. it is broken and needs to be fixed. it nds to be fixed for our country. we cannot well in your four more years of barack obama. and i offer myself to the republican national committee. i believe i offer arue new direction, new leadership and the real new change that we must have in order to restore
credibility to the donor base, membership, and most important to the public. iffer 20 years of experience in politics and public service, serving at the most grass-roots level. i went on to share the missouri republican party and took it over when we had nothing but a line of credit and ended up with a lot of victories. i have the honor of serving as co-chairmen of the national republican committee and travel the country raising money and helping the state victory programs. i offer a true package. i offer something that is complete in its fund raising, management, in communication and knowing how to win elections. i believe our best days our ahead of the national republican committee. i asked you to join me in restoring the rnc. [applause] >> good afternoon.
my name is saul anuzis. i think our committee is that the crisis in our country is that the biggest challenges we of ever have before us. take a look at some of the challenges we face across the country and take a look at the challenges we as a pretty face to bring this country back. we have to elect more republicans and fund at the job that needs to be done. what i bring to the table is a set of unique skills that covers the entire spectrum of what we need frothe next chairman. i observed as the national commiteman. i have served as district chairman. i've run for office as well. today will be a lot of fund raising. we have to raise $20 million before we even start thinking money for the next presidential
election race. all of the things that are needed are done and funded most importantly. we need someone who can make the trains run on time. i have the political skills that are necessary based on the roles i have played. most of four and the i think i have a fund-raising skills where i've gone out and raise money in some of the most typical times ever in a state like michigan. in we successfully raised over 29 million in our state alone. it will look at the challenges of what we will face as the next chairman, i think you need someone who can articulate a message and raise the money necessary to fund programs. but that i ever myself as a candidate for chairman. thank you very much. [applause] >> i am maria cino.
i want to thank you for hosting the debate. all of you, happy new year and welcome to 2011 and to the 2012 elections. the race for president has already begun and the billion dollar campaign is well under way. that is one of the reasons that the election for the rnc chairman is so important. it is important is the next chairman is faced with significant chlenges. in addition to mounting a campaign to pete against $1 billion. -- to compete against $1 billion. that is why i am running for chairman. i have trained for this job most of my life. i've worked of the rnc for the last 30 years. i know what it takes to retire big deficits and rebuild campaign committees. i did that in 1994 when we
turned around and went on to win of a jury, a majority in the house of representatives. i developed fund-raising programs. i have the respect of major donors from around the country and have raised millions and millions of dollars. my past experience has also caught me the importance of a strong state party organization. they are essential to winning presidential elections they are essential because that is what we did in 2000, that is what we did in 2004. i planned, raised funds, and implemented a victory program for each state. i have even run the national republican convention. i know i cannot do this job alone. and i know it takes a strong team of talented and smart individuals. and that is what it will take to win the elections in 2012. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon.
i am michael steele chairman of the republican national committee. in it is a pleasure to be here today. when i began this job in 2009, we cannot find anyone to say they were a republican let alone run for one. we could not find people who actually believed that we could do it, that we still have value. "time" magazine claimed we were an endangered species 2009. in coming into the rnc where our donors were frustrated and incurred, where our police were questioned, we put together a small team and got busy at the
task of winning elections. reaffirming the value of this party for the american people, especially those that have committed themselves to it. that was hard work. i am a glass half full kind of guy. i do not see the crisis as some may see it. i did not see it does something like the alarm bells may go off and start throwing and blowing up, but you get down to the heavy work eve building, and we did. in009, new jersey, virginia happened. at the beginning of 2010 at massachusetts in hawaii happened. we begin to see the opportunity to win. as we get through the specs cycle, that reality confronts us larger than anything else. we fired nancyelosi. the democrats wanted to hire her back.
my opportunity for all of us now is to go forward, to continue to bill on the successes we have had, and ask for your support in doing so as chairman of the national republican committee. [applause] >> i think the cameras can take a break now. my name is reince priebus. i know it is a tough name. and i just want to thank you grover, tucker for putting this on. and i am running because i believe the ve american idea is at stake in this election. our country is about to walk off of the fiscal cliff, and as all of you know, pretty soon we want more people writing the wagon been driving by and. the are in a in -- the rnc needs to restore the trust and
confidence of the major donors, a grass-roots activists. when i took over as chairman of the wisconsin gop, we haveoads of debt in did not a lot to build on. we did it the right way. we did it with conservatives like scott walker, our new governor. and our new u.s. senator defeating russ feingold. sean duffy. we flipped both houses of the legislator. we won five out of eight congressional districts. we did it the right way. we did it together with the conservative movement. once in thrall -- we can be darn proud to go to the polls on election day and said that is th kind of republican i want to vote for. you know why? because our republian party understands that we're not in
competition with the conservative movement, we are part of the conservative movement, and we learned that if we can do three things we can rebuild our party and credibility. those three things are pretty simple. we need to find people of their word to run for office, we need to win the elections, and finally we need to govern like we campaign. if we can learn to govern like we campaign, then and only then will we be able to take back the white house in 2012. thank you. [applause] >> first question. there is no formal job description for each position you are campgning for. what do you think is the most important task for the chairman of the rnc in 2011 and 2012? if elected, what would you focus on as your greatest responsibility? >> fund-raising and everything
else. i think whave tremendous challenges in the party. this will be a tremendous challenge with respect to rebuilding the credibility for so many major donors to have left the party. i took the time to call the donors and find out what had happened. i was surprised to hear that almost all of them were willing and able to come back. oftentimes there were not even asked for a contribution. my goal would be fund raising so we can fund the programs in the states that are necessary. >> i would do three things. the first thing is get the fiscal house in order. we have to practice what we preach as republicans. we have called for a two-year budget, matching the budget cycle as an election cycle. and matching that with the dollars that can be spent in the coming election cycle.
secondly, i would rebuild the fund raising organization, raising the money that will be necessary to beat barack obama, take back the u.s. senate and add to the u.s. house. third, build strong state party organizations. we have learned time and time again during a presidential cycle you do not win presidential elections without the strong state party organization. and i have called for an 18- month state victory plan that would be due april 1 of this year to get us on our way. >> certainly dealing with the finances of the organization will be extremely important as we go and your presidential cycle. we have up $50 million line of credit, which restructud with the bank. we have ongoing vendor and other responsibilities and expenses that carry over from the 2010 election cycle. that clearly will be a priority
as articulated to the budget committee of the time they passed the budget in 2010 and sent for this upcoming year in the entire membership knows that is a priority. just as importantly is what we do to continue to build for the grass roots. going into this time will be incredibly important that we continue to engage the coalition of leaders and opportunities we have with individuals all side of the party itself. i see those as dual opportunities for a least a first quarter to make sure that we hunker down, get the money tight and right. make sure the dollars, whether it is refinancing on the debt, making sure we have the opportunity on the ground with fund-raisers and donors out there to become a part of the team, and certainly the grass roots. >> i think our first priority has to be and must be in
electing republicans. too that we need money and we need a lot of money. we needed chairman that will put his or her head down and spent five or six hours every day making major donor calls and visits, literally working like a dog for that nexttw two years getting the fiscal house in order. we need unity. we need topeak to the two- party, working together. lastly, what i mentioned before in the opening, we need to keep credibility and the party. that means we need to govern like we campaigned, hold the elected officialsesponsible so that peace can actually happened. that is a piece that i think could be the most important piece that we need to keep our eye on moving forward. that money and ultimately electing republicans. >> the job description is to be
the standard bearer of the party and that has multiple facets underneath it. it is recruiting good candidates. bringing grass-roots together. talking to new and coalitions out there and welcoming all of those conservatives who have been such a part of our movement is the last election cycle. it is about winning elections, winning the white house in 2012. that is the job description of the republican national committee chairman. to do that you have to raise money. doing thorough audit of the committee and putting the fiscal house in order, putting in checks and balances, pulling together our finance chairman to put a plan together to go out and to ask for money, put a plan forward that puts forth a plaque
to victory in 2012 -- which ps forth a victory in 2012. >> i want to remind our viewers of the twitter aounts. how you balance the desire to field conservative candidates with what our electoral regality is? did u see the victory of christine o'donnell over mike castle as a triumph of victory or disaster? >> i looked at as the chairman of the republican national committee. our job is to grow the committee from the ground up. the job of the chairman is to make sure we provide our state parties with funds. we provide them with resources, talent, a technology and boots to arrest the candates at the state parties and the republican voters put forth.
i see that as how the balance should be. it goes to the state parties who have the power and recruits the candidates and have us elect the candidates. >> in this last cycle there were not of dynamic employees among the state party. the first time the state parties were engaged in a way of life they have ever been before. we put in place a comprehensive strategy that would provide the resources for the sole purpose of engaging an activist base so they can come out and participate, and they did. you saw whether it was in delaware, florida, or california, a level of activism that was long overdue and welcomed for this party. at the end of the day the national party's role is to stay out of state party's business when it comes to the above action. our rules are very clear about that.
that may upset some who want to to do the same, it is improper and wrong and when they do get paid a dear price. you pay a dear price in support, from donors, and at the end of the day y wind up losing the that you may be could otherwise one. uld have won. >> the balance is definitely -- at the end of the day the chairman has to support our nominees, there's no question about that. and i do believe state parties have our role. some state parties have taken that rule 11 pledge and supported republican candidates in their states and under the rules we allow for that.
we get the power to the states to make the decision. we have a very laterimary in september. we had to do it. it worked. it worked because the state parties have the power under the rules of the republican national committee to do that. i support that, and i would suppo that as chairman going forward as well. and >> there is one thing we've learned from the last election cycle and that is the people decide who will win the elections. it is the people who will decide who will win the primary. and it is a job of the republican party to stand up for our platform, for our ideals and tried to recruit candidates that will be truth to the conservative principles and values, that the end of the day people will decide the primary and it is our job to win the republican election. it is our job to grow the majority in every single state,
every single courthouse and every single legislative district across the country. i think there are many programs that have really liftedp the grass roots. it is important that we have the fund-raising to see the jobs through. >> i really do not think we need to have a whole lot of balance in the sense that i think the primaries work and i think the voters work. there has always been a mistake when someone from above tries to decide who the nominee will be. i think that is a mistake. i think we should let the primary process work. when we put forth our best candidates we win. when we run the democrats will lose. i think it is a very simple process and we should let the
voters decide. ." >> -- >> the third question will be asked by a representative from the susan b. anthony list. my charge, i am happy to say, was to represent social issues here today, which is a unique opportunity because as families go, so goes the nation and so goes the civilization. that is in direct contradiction on the idea that we should have some sort of truce on social issues where we set them aside. i had the unique privilege of interviewing each of the candidates here along with green canyon -- frank
i want to watch these forms legislatively. we elected a republican governor and we were able to pass legislation that says that it reaffirms your belief in this that marriages between one man and one woman. >> i think that marriage is a religious and cultural institution. i think that it is a natural aspect of life and i think that marriages between man and woman and i think that the family unit is very important. our believe in this activity to promote marriage and the nuclear traditional family is important.
i think is both religious and cultural institution that is worth protecting and fighting f. >> what has been the republican party's greatest show your over the past 10 years? >> not doing what we say we are going to do. not living up to the promises of our platform. i think that what we saw in this last election is what happens when you put true conservatives on the ballot that speak the truth and speak to the principles of our platform. even in wisconsin we can turn a
state red by sticking to the principles of our party. people were defeated because a lot of us in this room were tired of going to the polls and hold our noses. i think that, thanks to a lot of groups, and our own republican party, regrouping and getting back to the basics. we were able to save our party. like i said, the bigger issue is saving our country. we can save our party along the way, but we need to stick to our principles and ordered to do that. >> the people decide when we get into power and lose our way. the people have a way in this marvelous democracy in which we
live, has a way of writing that wrong. one of the big failures of the republican party is too much spending and growth and debt. what we are passing along to my children and your children is wrong. we have got to rein in spending. we have to take a serious look at everything on the table in terms of spending. we have to do that. every single day. >> two years ago, when we came off one of the biggest cycle's ever, we spoke to republican activists and apologized for the fact that we have lost our way. we voted for the bridge to nowhere and higher taxes and higher spending. we stopped voting like republicans, and we stop acting
like republicans and we stopped talking about the issues that the country believes them. -- believes in. when we start acting like republicans we win, when we act like the democrats will lose. -- act like democrats, we lose. act like democrats, we lose. this time around, we got a second chance. that is all it is. it is a second chance an opportunity for republicans to start acting like republicans. >> let me spice things up a little bit. mccain-buying gold. that was a mistake. -- mccain-feingold. that was a mistake. we lost our way on spending. when we lose our way on spending, when we lose our way
on taxes, when we lose our way on the deficit, we lose elections. if we have learned anything from our friends in the tea party, and we need to stay focused and stay on the message. cutting taxes, cutting the government. we have a second last line and be better use of. -- as second lifeline and we better use it. " we started defining our size -- ourselves out of what we believe. the other thing that is equally important is where the party got it wrong. we stopped talking to people. we stopped trying to connect
with people. we were the party of lincoln. we understand the value of the individual. part of our charge is to go out and grab as many of those folks and believe in the value of individual liberties and freedoms. when we stopped talking to our friends in the latino community and the african-american community and stop engaging with individuals and start making assumptions, that is where we really start to lose. going forward, we will lose big if we lose sight of the fact that america is not the america of the 1950's, 1960's, or even 1990's. it is a different america. i am interested in what it
means to disqualify someone as a republican, specifically, what beliefs would make someone not a republican in a logger. >> they must believe in the pillars of conservatism that many of us hold near and dear. there are three pillars that are very key, here. one is the fiscal/economic side. there is an assault on our freedom at an economic level and another level. i have a great appreciation of the pillar of national security and the third pillar would be that of traditional values and whether that is the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage,
the second amendment, what ever the social values are that we hold deeply. if you cannot carry all three, then i do not think that you should be serving as chairman of the republican national committee. [applause] >> i would use ronald reagan's blind. the way that i would take a look at this is to say that we have a platform there really a very quick -- clearly what our positions are. if a candidate supported the platform at least 80% of the platform or more, than i would consider them a republican. >> i would fall back on what ronald reagan has taught us and that is that there are three legs to the stool. protecting the family, reducing government waste spending and a
strong national defense. i think that really sums up what is in our party platform and what we as republicans stand for. >> i would agree with all of that, but having done the job for two years, and recognizing that this country is much bigger than we think it is sometimes. it runs a lot deeper with its passions than we'd like to believe. i see the job as chairman is one to uphold that platform, but to recognize that everyone who comes into this party will have some problem with this platform. it is your responsibility to work with them if they want to be active and want to assume leadership. they will have to come to understand the importance of these principles and what they mean. we cannot be a party that sits back with a litmus test and excludes for the the national chairman cannot go into a state and say that i will only talk
with you and not with you. that is not the republican party i joined at 17-years old. it will not be the republican party that i lead over the next two years. trust me. >> being the standard bearer for the republican party, you have to take into account that our country is in great peril. we are about to walk off the fiscal cliff. i think that the rnc chairman should take a chance and promote a conservative platform every time that he or she has an opportunity to do it. right now, without anything barack obama and nancy pelosi did these past two years, normally a cost 19 cents of every dollar and america to run the federal government. by the time my son is 5 years
old -- who is 5 years old, and when he is mine age, it will cost 40 cents of every dollar to run this country. if you are pro-abortion, pro- stimulus, then you might not be a republican. >> question northern six. -- question northern six. -- question northern six. -- number six. in recent interviews, each of
you affirmed your support of the right to life of the unborn child. given this fundamental pro-life platform, activists concede a disconnect in rnc operations. specifically, what steps would to take as a tactician to integrate the issue into technology, and all financial assets that are at your disposal as chair? >> the question goes to psalm. >> let me use an example of what we did in michigan. we worked with groups on a regular basis, sitting down and identifying who the candidates were. what kind of resources were needed? what could we do legally together?
i think that there has to be a working relationship with all coalitions, particularly those that support the sanctity of life. when we run for office, i think it is important for us to stand on our principles. i think that ideas have consequences. i think that issues matter. we've run away from those issues, we run away from opportunities. we run away from voters. but i think that we as a party have to integrate abortion and any other issue just like we do everything else. it is an important part of our platform. it is where the general public basically stands. i think that we can spend resources and we can talk about how to do that and do it effectively. >> i would do what i have done for the last 30 years, and that is really work hard to build and invest in strong coalitions. in state coalitions. it is how we win elections.
it is working with the various pro-life coalitions to make sure we register voters, identify them and get them out to vote. i would also call for an 18- month state victory plan that has been submitted april 1. each of those states have a significant component dealing with coalition building and development. in addition, as i have always done, have an open-door policy to all coalitions to sit down and talk with individuals, work with them, and plan and strategize as we look to the 2012 elections. >> this is an area that we pay particar attention to, not with only respect to the life issue but a whole host of issues that revolve around a coalition effort.
expanding the reach of the party and voice of the party, making sure the party is represented, and certainly that was no less true in our efforts with members of the pro-like community i met with several times publicly and privately on a host of issues from health care to statewide issues. on the state-wide front here is where the rubber meets the road. having build relationships at the state level where the battle for marriage and life questions are being engaged every single day, having that relationship does not play out of the federal level anymore. it is played out state-by-state and the party has an opportunity to engage with the state legislative leaders as we have over the past two years to help with the important issues. >> i believe it is something that can be very effective. it is a great chapter across the
country. i do not believe we either have none or close to none or would guest to venture no state legislators or federal office holders in the state of wisconsin that are not pro- life. this is paramount to our platform as republicans. and i think we have a responsibility as republicans to the right-to-life issue. this is a coalition that is vitally important to our movement, to the conservative movement, and i would do everything i could to continue to promote the coalition and be proud about the fact that we are pro-life. we do believe life begins at conception. [applause] >> thank you for the great
question and the work to do to promote with pro-light women candidates out there. it is unfortunate if anybody at the republican party level would be discouraging candidates from holding their pro-life values and views out front. we certainly do not do that in missouri. and i think it is importanthat the right to life coalition and all coalitions have a seat at the table to discuss everything, all of the things that go into the messaging to win a good, healthy election. we do this in misery whether it direct mail pieces, regional radio. -- we do this in missouri whether it is direct mail pieces, regional radio. the right-to-fe organizations out there should always have a seat at the table, whether it is
platforms, canada retirement or winning elections. >> over the last 50 years there has been a series of waves of immigration of activists voters into the republican party. in the 1960 topos the goldwater voters -- in the 1960's with the goldwater voters in the mt recent years the tea party. how do you keep the republican party open to the next waves of who can be added to the party strength and what groups to use seat critically available that we ought to be pursuing? maria cino. >> i will try to the sec that multifaceted question.
first of all again, my experience has been building strong coalitions, and i would first and foremost welcome open door and talk with all of the various groups and communicating with and working with them. i think the second thing is to make sure that our state parties are aware of the various coalitions and various groups and working with these folks as we look down the road in building from the bottom up our party to elect republicans in 2012. >> i have spent my entire political life in the trenches in this town where i grew up as an elected official and it has always been about the gss roots, the bottom-up, reaching up in getting out of the comfort zone as republicans. we do get a little comfortable with ourselves and we do become comfortable to the elusion of
others, and i think we have an enormous opportunity with the surge we have seen in the tea party activism to really open up the doors of this party and let a new light shine in on it, some fresh faces and voices that do not look and sound like us, that do not have the same walk or background experience, but bring a wealth of new ideas to the table. we tried to do that through the coalition department at the rnc, with the idea of making a grass- roots oriented going forward. adding to that flavor every single day as the party expands into the 2012 cycle. we need to play well in the sandbox with tea party movement, the conservative movement. i think we have done that,
certainly in wisconsin we have done that. we had a lot of success wit that. we are not in competition with the basement, we are part of it. our actions speak louder than words. we have to get out on the streets and talk to people. we were one of the only states in the entire country that set up a hispanic headquarters full- time, hired a hispanic director to get the job done and get out in the community and build coalitions. we brought on the african- american council to the republican party of wisconsin. our actions have to speak louder than words. we can make it happen but we have to work together and ask to be a priority and an important priority of the heart. when it is a priority of the
heart, good things will result. you for the question. it is the job to bring people tother towards the common purpose, both new and existing coalitions, all with the purpose of winning elections. and that is what we are all here to do. i love people, i love to communicate and bring people to the table to talk about ideas, listen to what they have to say. this conservative movement that is out here ov the last two years is fantastic. let us not forget, the two- party patriot and grass-roots movement is why we have such victories in 2010. [applause] all of these groups will have a seat a the table when i am chairman of the rnc. it is important recognize the importance, to listen to what they have to say to make them a
part of a winning coalition going forwar >> as someone who came up in 1987 i was part of the jack kemp resolution that wanted to bring the party back. this time people were really frustrated with the democratic and republican parties. when we lose our faith with the voters, they have a way of figuring out a different vehicle. i think we do have to reset out to the african- out american community, hispanic community. we cannot just come in 60 days before an election and say we care about the african-american vote or show up 30 days before the elecon and show up anan ent and for pretend like we care. in michigan we were very lucky this year.
we did not have to go out and look for choking candidates. we were able to integrate people into the party and make a difference. >> the next question begins with chairman steele. there has been the get out the vote campaign. it has gone up to week before the election. in 2010 that program was scontinued. do you think that was wise choice? if you are reelected would you revisit that decision? >> it was a wise choice. it was not discontinued it was not put out the way people were to seeing it. i have heard enough state chairmans saying i do not need strangers coming into my backyard the last week of the election telling me how to run an election when they have no idea what it is about. we decided to turn rnc into a
victory center. in 100 funds available to anyone on capitol hill that wanted to come and make phone calls. the money that would have been spent on an airplane or hotel for a week for capitol hill staffers to go to michigan, wisconsin, to go to new jersey or anyplace else in the country to work was a waste of resources. what we did is we package the dollars and gave the money directly to the states. we believe very firmly in the state-focused, state-oriented program. in every state party ge me a plan in early 2010, actually 2009, that laid out with the strategy will be. we funded that strategy directly. it was developed by each state. we funded those directly as opposed to sending staffers to different parts of the country. we opened up rnc and they could
come across the street at no cost to anyone have a sandwich and make phone calls. >> i do not care to revisit the past, but in the future i think we need a fully funded tv effor across the board, wherever that may be. it comes down to money and resources. you have all heard their estimates. everyone here will agree that the number one challenge to the rnc moving forward is raising about $400 million over the next two years, which basically means the next chairman will be sitting in office for five or six hours a day running through major donor of this, setting up meetings, a national finance network and team in order to fully fund all of the programs. we cannot go into 2012 having to make decisio between which got
effort we fund in which one we do not. i think everyone would agree with that. that is going to be the big challenge, whether it be technology, gotv, it will all come down to money. that is why money will be the number one priority for the next chairman of the rnc. >> good turnout programs e nothing but words on paper if there is no money and resources behind them. we fell down at the national committee in this last election cycle in that regard. we he got to fully fund our state victory programs. it is important for the entire ticket and will be very important this next election cycle of 2012 when theemocrats are much more motivated and turnout will be at a peak level. 72 hours does not cut it anymore. we have 32 states that have early voting.
72 hours we need to push at the end in terms of turnout, but that turnout effort, those efforts much start much earlier. most of all they have to be fully funded. >> i agree. i think one of the most important things we do as the republican party is coronate and fund the get-out-the-vote effort. the 72 our program is more like a 30-day program, sometimes 45- day program depended on what state you come from. the challenge this time aund is we do not have enough resources. we have congressional senate races across the country. we will have a lot of challenges with respect to funding, and i think the most important thing we can do is we will raise the money necessary to fund the programs. to me, that is the most critical program we have come at the most critical thing we can do and
every state party has been struggling to get that done. >> well, i am a little partial to the 72-hour program because it was under my leadership that we implemented, funded, and put out 6000 volunteers in 2004 for the 72-hour program and 1000 attorneys. while i believe it is very important to assess our financial ability to do this, i would make sure it's the 72-hour program, which should be a 96- hour program, is implemented again as part of the state party planning. . .
your state may have gotten x amount of dollars in the last cycle, but because you're playing in all 50 states, we found other ways to get resources into your hands so you can be competitive. find me the state that did not have a winning election and marry their program was unfounded. i think we won in all 50 states this year. that is the goal -- winning. [applause] >> the next question, beginning with reince priebus, is did you consider combating broker fraud a priority and how would you combated? >> i was chairman one week sued our government accountability board in wisconsin over our noncompliance with and a year- old law. law. we are one of the few states in the entire country, wisconsin, whe you can actually vote on election day without
registering, and you can also vote without any picture identification at all. our challenge is in states like wisconsin -- challenges in states like wisconsin are astronomical. we have a board appointed by a democratic governor, all former judges appointed by the same governor. we he no statewide registration list that is remotely accurate still as of this day. as a national party chairmen, i would use the resources to assist, obviously, the state parties and their actions against their states. i think we need to win these battles and the courts. we need to win more races in the legislatures of that we can pass photo id in all states and make sure that we either have photo id, real id,r some method of protecting our constitutional right to vote in this country.
i could get past the top priority of the next chairman. -- i think it has to be a top priority of the next chairman. >> voter fraud is a real issue, and it is important that the state party and the national party provides the resources and the legal basis and resources to stop of voter fraud out there and initiate what we will call ballot integrity programs across the country. poll watchers are important to have out there to keep a vigilant but we had an arm of those in many precincts in the state of missouri. provisional ballot is the key way we have to play, to make sure that the rules and the integrity of that are kept. we have to have teams of lawyers that we can call at a moment's notice to go down, whether it is closing a poll, checking othe ballots and voting that is going on at any particular voting place. all that goes into it. technology has given us the great ability to have voting free and fair and easy.
we want people to vote and we wanted to be easy for them to vote but hard for them to cheat. it is important we get out there and find these programs at the state and national level -- and fund these programs at the state and national level. >> michigan, for example, is a blue state that can go read under the right circumstances. one of the challenges is a voter fraud in urban areas. we found tens of thousands of absentee ballots that were signed and never fell out and were apparently for sale. luckily, we were able to hold those ballots -- we call in the state attorney's office. we were able to set up our program that worked. we had to be filed lawsuits were all you had to do is fill in the blanks -- had prefiled lawsuits were all you had to do is fill in the blanks. some of the states involved in these races now and challens
now can be assured with everybody else. it is a best practices aspect that i think wcan make a difference, especially with the states that don't have the resources and some of the things that the swing states have been involved in. >> i, too, hav been involved in integrity and ballot security programs, and i think they are extremely important. i would remind you, 1981 -- some of you probably weren't born -- in the state of new jersey 1 the governor. in this state in 2000, whe one -- we won. ballot integrity programs are very important. starting with training in this case and then training and districts, local organizations. additionally, making sure we have attorneys like we did in 2004. we sent out 1000 attorneys from the area to various states
around the country and provided resources necessary to go to court when you have to go to court to fight these cases. >> the issue of public integrity is clearly one that is on the foremind of everyone in terms of whether or not ballots are secure and whether or not people can trust that the process is going to work. certainly in the past year, going back to the 2009 election cycle, we made a very concerted effort to coordinate much more closely with state partisan than we have in the past, whether it was in wisconsin, -- coordinate much more closely with state parties then we have on the past, whether it was in wisconsin orith gov. christie's effort, knowing that there are issues to be concerned of. coming from the states like maland, we know what it's like to lose a governor's race because o cheating the reality for us at the national level have tbe one of direct coordination, not dtation, at the state party's. they know what the feel and the
environment is on the ground. having them come to us and say, "this is what we need," and being able to provide that is itical. they know first and foremost with the realities are. lastly, coordinating with lawyers and individuals who can be a part of that team, particularly when you get into the cycle at the end, as we recently did with a recount, to make sure that the repetitions are there. >> i number of you have made the point that the incoming congress was elected on hopes that it would address spending above all other matters. how confident are you that the leadership will in fact do that? what specific government programs do you think will be dramatically pared down or cut by the incoming republican congress? >> i think we saw a very good at beginning with our republican leadership that came in during the lame-duck session and took a real hard stand against earmarks. we saw the omnibus bill fall
under the weight of i own weight. it is important, very much, that the spending and debt be drawn in. as i said a little bit earlier, everything needs to be on the table. we need to the it department cuts. the gross in cover -- the growth in government -- if you look at the stimulus package, really all that it was pro-government. it did not grow jobs. we're still close to 10% unemployment. it is important that we look at programs to cut. it is important that we look at some of the mandates that are out there that need to be on -- entlements that need to be looked at. i think that this congress is going to take it very, very seriously, and they don't, the people will have a say in 2012. >> look, i think we have a lot of challenges. i am ver optimistic with respect to republicans we have elected in congress. the people came here with a
mandate, they understand why they are here. those who listen to the people of america and act on what their elected to will be effective and be reelected whether it is the aarp and some as or across-the- board cuts that are probably -- whether it is tarp and stimulus or cross-the-board cuts that are probably necessary, we cannot have crony capitalism. otherwise, we will turn into a european-style country bread we -- otherwise, we will turn into a european-style country. from my perspective, there is a cross-the-board cuts that have to be done i hope we never get into a situation again will we even consider tarp or stimulus. >> you know, i think that if we have learned anything from the 2010 elections, our friends in the tea party, it is that we
have to be focused and stick to our principles of cutting taxes and cutting spending. i think we have gotten off to a great start with our new republican leadership with regards to doing away with earmarks. i think that speaker boehner today gestured 5% -- he would cut his personal congressional budget by 5% and the rest of congress' by 5%. but that is not enough to going to look at bills -- but that is not enough. looking at bills that have amendments, bridges to nowhere. as the former deputy secretary of transportation, i can tell you that $55 billion -- they always want more. but from the bush administration, we held the line and make sure we did noto out in our snding i think that is what the republican leadership is going to do and we have to
hold their feet to the fire to make sure that they dexactly what they were elected to do. >> i think we have to be clear about the role we have in this position as chairman and. as i was reminded several times by the members of the senate and house, you don't do policy. the reality of it is, we don't in this perch. we do politics. but our responsibility is, and what mine has been over the last twoears, is to take the leadership what i hear from you, what i hear from the grassroots. if you get to sit there and decide what the policy is -- you can have an impact on appellate ticks of the policy by being an advocate on -- you canave an impact on the politics of a policy by being an advocate for the tea partyers or grandmother getting involved for the first
time. being an advocate for the up- and-comers just starting on their own. having a conversation about translating the tax and other policies coming off of the hills so that people understand in the grass roots what is gng on and that people on the hill understand what the grass roots want to it at the end of the day, you don't get to dictate the terms to the speaker of the house, you don't get to dictate the terms to the minority leader of the senate. you have to carry the message to them and bring that message from them, and if you get it wrong, you'll be reminded that you don't to policy. [applause] >> one of the things i talk about a lot as chairman of the wisconsin party is that -- wow. [laughter] while we lick the envelopes and put up signs and raise the money, and guess what? we expect a certain result.
i think the party does have a role in enforcing with that expectation is with our elected officials. if the results aren't there, we do have power to dictate results or least help dtate results, and that is called go to the ballot box, it is called primary. you know, the voters gave us a lease. they did not give us the keys. we have an opportunity to put the train back on the rails. how many people who are republican you're actually believe that the idea of america is at stake in 2012? who believes that? well, we started off the right away in eliminating earmarks. our people get it. but we need go further. one of my good friends, paul ryan -- i was his congressional chairmen for years -- he gets it. he knows we need to elevate the
debate because we need to save our country. >> the next question is a video question, and hence the screen, from the college republicans communications director. >> nearly 20% of the total voting population was between 18 and 29 years old. unfortunately for republicans, that a faction devoted 66% for present obama. however, that same demographics said they only have a 44% approval of president obama and the outgoing democratic congress. this gives the republican party a golden opportunity to recruit and engage new members of the party. as the newly elected chairman or chairwoman, would you do to encourage young republicans with messaging so that we can engage them into the process? >> first of all, our message ought to be very clear and straightforward. i think conservative values
work. i think they work on college campusesnd would be very successful. we have to understand technology ki are using these days. it is not enough to say, "i use twitter" or "i use facebook." you have to be part of it and lit it. when you look at the hundreds of thousands -- hundreds of millions of people who are on facebook, for example, and 70% of people get some information online -- all the young vots are going to hear and what they want to be part of an where they get that information is online sources. we have to be very active with college republicans and young republicans. we obviously have the legal restrictions as to what we can and cannot do. this is an area that is not only the future of the party, this is the party today. this is where we will grow and succeed. >> in 2010, we were very fortunate to elect the next generation of young republican leaders. if you look at marco rubio, jamie herrera, just an amicable,
it is an extraordinary group of indiduals. i would look at those young new leaders to help us appeal to young voters. it would be so extremely important. i want to make sure that our state victory plans have a significant component dealing with young voters. going back to college campuses and registering voters and making sure that we get young voters as volunteers. additionally, i would use our young leaders to help us to recruit candidates. we need to have a bench, and that is not a better served than by young republicans. finally, i touched on it a little bit -- we need to be able to communicate with our young voters. we need to be able to do social networking. we need to look beyond what the next generion of the commication is with our young folks. >> we made a significant investment at the rnc my first year just on that front to make what we had to say relevant
through new vehicles and technologies. we don't have a webpage, we have a web platform that can be used in different ways, as saul noted, to really make use of twitter and blogging and the like. that is the first step of many that we have to take to engage this new generation of young voters who areoming into their own. they are getting elected. i have encouraged over the past two years our college republicans, and i would encouragehem now, to run for national committeeman and committeewoman from your state party, chairman of your state party, run for local office, run and be involved in this process. get your fingers at the table and helped shape the direction of the party. the feature is not tomorrow, as saul noted. it is right now. at every effort we have made at the rnc is towards in beijing, from the bu -- t owards
engaging, from tehe bus tour to engaging young voters to have a seat at the table. all of us are going to retire, probably sooner than later for some. we need to make certain that the next generation is prepared and ready to step up. >> i think it is a couple of things, i think that is rig. you have the congregation people, bring them in the full. -- you have to engage young people. you have to bring them into the cold. we have to promote the new generation of the republican party. someone mentioned marco rubio, one of my law school classmates, and paul ryan, aaron shock. we have a gop rising stars coming out of our ears right now. but at the end of the day, keep in mind that one of the biggest used movements and the country was on a break and -- biggest youth movements in the country
was ronald reagan. teenage republicans -- that is how i became involved, as a teenager, and then as the college republican president, and working my way up the ranks. the way i got involved was one senior guide invited me to lick envelopes. that is how it all started. it was not a young person who got involved. it was a grown-up. here i am debati my potential candidacy here for rnc chairman. >> the youth of this nation and party are not the future of the party, they are the heart of the party. i was reminded of that when i was having a lunch at a senate campaign this last cycle. the use of the party run our party. they are the workers going door- to-door and making calls, the
staffers working tl us hours for nothing but it beats the. i am 48 years old. i was old in this last election cycle. i have great ideas to use new technology and have a conversation with the young people where they live. it is important we begin to institute a virtual precinct. you all have a facebook page, and work, a group of people who follow you, that are a part of your world. you ought to be at the geing to them, just like we did the old geographic -- you ought to be advocating to them, just like we did the old a geographic precincts. the virtual precinct is a way to make them a real part of this next election cycle. >> all right, it is time for our lightning round. i want to remind our viewers that we're still open to comments and questions from twitter. the address is #rncdebate.
>> the late and unlamented governor of florida, charlie christie- >> crist. [laughter] >> florida, the one down south -- raised a great deal of money running as a republican, receiving money from republican committees and institutions, then decided to run as an independent per had a number of people who ran as republicans raising money from republicans would endorse other candidates if they did not win the primary. perhaps as a result, the standing committee on rules fo the rnc passed a resolution,he party unity pledge, saying that anybody who receives money from republicans running as republicans could assign that pledge and be responsible for
returning the money if they decided to run on another party line or endorse a different candidate. the short answer to the law question is and do you support the the adoption of this unity pledge into the rules of the republican party? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> that was indeed a lightning round. [laughter] i am impressed. do you bieve that republican primaries ought to be limited to republicans, or should it be open up to anyone? >> limited to republicans. .> republicans brough >> republican primaries ought to be for republicans. >> aside from president reagan,
who is your political hero? [laughter] [applause] last year we got caught -- >> this is a request in. > -- a trick question. >> after reagan, who would you cite as a hero? >> abraham lincoln. >> i will go back to my state. general john ashcroft is my hero. he brought me into the party. he is a man of character and integrity. this is a lightning round, i'm sorry. >> freedomworks. >> margaret thatcher. >> frederick douglass. >> where do you get your news? [laughter] >> the daily caller. [laughter]
no, mostly from the internet. the final three pages in th first section of "the wall street journal," with politics, gop. >> i get many of the internet. i read everything from blogs to newspapers. >> i am probably a religious reader of the drug repor -- drudge report, hotline, politico, all the other information online. >> so much for lightning round. >> i get my news online also --
"wall street journal," "national review." >> i am an old-fashioned guy. i start my morning with a hard copy of "the washington post," and then go on line to get the real news. [laughter] >> tubsupport completely -- do you support completely defunding planned parenthood? >> absolutely. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> starting with mr. anuzis, names of the mr. oba has done that you agree with --. name something mr. obama has done that you agree with. [laughter] >> i think this effort to called republicans prosecute the war -- to help republicans prosecute the war. >> i agree with that, if he
opposes a end of the bargain. -- he upholds his end of the bargain. >> he has done a good job of reaching out with new technology. >> how many guns do you own? >> none. >> none. >> five. >> we just got a new gun safe for christmas, and we have about 16 in there. my son is at west point. [applause] >> i am very inadequate, at four. >> ken sarah palin win a general election? -- can sarah palin when a general election? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes, absolutely. >> yes.
>> forever. >> "reagan diaries." >> hmm, favorite bar? probably my kitchen table. >> favorite book. >> all, i thought they said favored by -- favorite bar. [laughter] >> that was deeply revealing. >> "reagan diaries." new like a george w. bush's book, how about that? >> "to kill a mockingbird." >> "war and peace." the best of times and the worst of times. [laughter] >> thank you all.
that was the lightningest lightning round i've ever seen. we're going to go to follow the ups that we've received, and we really just received them. we have not had time t dr. them. these are literally just things we just got. this is from drew walker. did you lobby for obamacare? if so, why? >> no one wants to go to a government-run health care system. i think we have seen what has happened at overseas, particularly in europe. i am proud to say that this last year i work with our republican members in the house and in the senate, i worked against death panels and rationing, i worked to reform malpractice suits. i worked to make to the innovation was rewarded, and i worked to increase -- to make
sure iovation was reported and i worked to increase intellectual property protection. >> thank you. >> no, i did not. i worked for the republican principles i just mentioned. >> ann wagner, how would you solve the rnc's current budget crisis prior to the victory 2011 program? >> it is about fundraising. we have to go out and restore our major donor programs. i have put them forward on annwagner.com. it talk about top tier donor is all the way down to the liver donors. you must note -- around the country -- to the lower donors. you must go around the country. you have to cover the running of the rnc, and most importantly,
you have to fund state party programs. >> chairman steele, at times you have defended her record by suggesting that your critics - defending your record by suggesting that your critics were acting against african- americans out of bias. >> no, that is not true. you may have heard the media reporting it that way. my record speaks for itself. we wind. -- we won. the fact that we are here right now celebrating that win says a lot about the record. [applause] >> my tweeted question is for the man was glad this is not a
write-in campaign. third-party groups helped win elections in 2010. why do we need an rnc at all? >> i think we can drive the ground game pretty darned well. we have a vast national network of people committed to putting the party and its principles upon their shoulders to make that happen. that does not mean that we should not play well in the sand box with everyone, because we all need to have good relationships, good collisions, wisconsinight to life --, could coalitions, wisconsin right to life, but at the end of the day, the republican party is one of the two major political parties in the country and we need to be strong, well funded, and on the ground with everybody moving forward into 2012. we have to continue our fight. >> saul anuzis, you are from
michigan. how would you target predominantly blue states like michigan, the northeast, the west coast? >> will we have to do is reach out to the traditional voter that we have lost. i grew up in detroit, and we were reagan democrats. we thought we were democrats until we started reading. we have a tremendous opportunity, if you go and look at where the american voter is today, it is us. god, guns, and guts republicans, people who believe in the traditional valueshat make up probably 70% of our society. as long as we appeal to them on conservative values, we can win. it is always interesting and i think a mistake when we think we have to change. my clock was up, sorry. >> thank you all very much. i think we are ready for closing statements. we're going to go from this di --from mr. priebus and
back down this way. >> this is about choices. life is about choices. god gives us different talents and given a gift. everybody up here is a good person. i'm not running against anybody paid i'm running -- i'm not running against anybody. i'm running for rnc chairman at time of different needs. chairman to his would-be workers, who is going to put on a great convention, at tackle redistricting. i have demonstrated that i can do all that as chairman in wisconsin. as i've said many times, we learned how to work with the conservative movent. i'm asking everybody in this room for your support. i know not everybody can vote for me, but i god bless me to be chairman of this party, all of us are gng to have to work
as a team to get it done to save our country and in turn to save our party and win in 2012 and take back the white house. thank you, and god bless you. [applause] >> i would like to thank our sponsors for this opportunity. i want to thank the members, and the members of the republican national committee, the 168 members, thank you for allowing me to serve as chairman for the past two years. thank you for allowing me to take risks for you. thank you for interesting me to break new ground for you. thank you for the opportunity to empower our state parties on like they have ever been before. if you want more of that, if you want to do more of that, if you want to be strong, independent, and engaged state party, you don't need a top-down rnc,
because i am not a top-down person, as you know. you need more of the same from the bottom up. as the national chairmen, that is my commitment, not my promise, because of the record we have laid out for you speaks for itself. we can do more, and we will do it better. thank you. [applause] >> thanks again to our coasts and to the -- our hosts and to the rnc members here today. i believe i am uniquely qualified because i have successfully done th job before. i turned around a national campaign committee that was in debt and won a majority in the u.s. house of representatives. twice i was personally responsible for planning and funding in implementing 50-state victory programs around the country, in 2000 and 2004. my past experience has given me theoundation necessary to build a party in a presidential
election. on january 15, i walked into the rnc with no on-the-job training as ever, because i have already done this job. vote and for your the trust to take over the national committee. thank you very much. [applause] >> well, look, i am a movement conservative who believe that ideas have consequences and principles matter. but i also believe i am uniquely qualified to take this position. i think i have the administrative skills, having run an operation with over 400 employees and $60 million budget. i have the political skill having worked on hundreds of campaign from the presidential down to the county level. i have the fund-raising skills necessary to raise millions of dolls in some of the toughest times, and believe me, retiring the debt is going to be some of the toughest times. and i am one of the most technologically advanced members, who knows how to communicate with millions of people today whoet most of their information over the
internet. most importantly, i am a member who believes we ought to be a member-based organization and all members across the country who want to be involved in this process. every single person on the national committee got there the hard way. they worked their way up because they offered something to their states and they have talents ey want to share with us. we have to put together a member-based committee that will help us win in 2012. thank you very much. [applause] >> i am the daughter of small business owners who has been working since i was 11 years old. i've been living my traditional conservative republican values all my life of limited government and free enterprise and personal responsibity. i began my political career as a grass-roots activists and became a leader, a leader who knows how to connect with people and articulate a message, how to win elections and put winning teams and coalitions together to do that. my experience is rooted in the heartland of america. i am at a suburban mother of three.
who has been married for 24 years, and whose american dream is all about serving your community and our country -- her community and her country in the way of serving republican principles and ideals and candidates. i think we have an opportunity to change course on january 14 at the republica national committee. i'm asking f the support, for the vote, and for the help of everyone on the republican national committee and all of you out there so that we can win in 2012 and that i can be elected the next chairman of the republican national committee. our freedoms, our families and our public is worth the fight. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentleman, candidates, ann wagner saul anuzis, michael steele, maria cino, reince priebus, the election is to number 14.
on tomorrow morning's "washington journal," a new jersey democratic congressman talks about the incoming republican-controlled house. following that, a former national security adviser on the political situation with pakistan and afghanistan. later, a member of standard and poor's index committee would give an update on the housing market in the u.s. economy. each morning at 7:00 eastern, here on c-span. the 112th congress begins wednesday with the swearing in of members and a vote on new rules. watch live, starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on "washington journal," interviews with members, leadership, and your calls. on c-span. coming up next, jerry brown is inaugurated as the 39th governor
of california. he is returning for a third term as governor, a position also held by his father. he was sworn in by the chief justice of the california supreme court at the memorial auditorium in sacramento. >> we would like to introduce to you the next first lady of the state of california, ann brown. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. [applause] thank you. thank you. i cannot see any of you, but i think you.
-- thank you. thank you all for that warmup come. thank you all so much for being here. i really cannot see any of you because this light is in my eyes, but i can hear you out there, so thank you for coming. i appreciate governor schwarzenegger and governor davis for being here, and they're lovely wives maria and sharon, to wonderful first ladies of california. [applause] i hope i can even begin to achieve what they do. [applause] i also want to thank senator feinstein and speaker policy, who i am told are here. thank you for coming in, and for all the other dignitaries who are here today, thank you so much. [applause]
i also want to thank my family, some of whom came from so far away. to all my supporters here, thank you for coming to this special day. we really appreciate having you here. also, i wanted to give one last thank you to the wonderful students of the oakland school for the arts, and the cadets from the oakland military institute. [applause] this is a very special day for my husband, as you know. he has been here before, and so this is kind of a coming back. last evening, he attended a party with many of his old workers and supporters, and it is a very emotional day. we are very excited to be here. without me talking any longer, i
would like to introduce my husband, the next governor of the state of california, edmund joe brown jr. [applause] there you are. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> and now, ladies and gentlemen, to administer the oath of office, please welcome the newly sworn in the 28th chief justice of the california supreme court, the most honorable connie sakaoue.
>> please place your left hand and raise your right hand and repeat after me. >> i come and jerry brown -- >> do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states -- >> the constitution of the united states -- >> and the constitution of the state of california, against all enemies -- >> against all enemies -- >> foreign and domestic. that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of california. >> and the constitution of the state of california. >> i take this obligation
freely, without any mental reservation to go without any mental reservation [laughter] no mental reservation. [applause] >> good. or purpose of evasion. and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties -- >> discharge the duties -- >> upon which i am about to enter. >> upon which i am about to enter. >> congratulations. >> thank you. [applause] thank you.
thank you. this is the first time i did one of these inauguration's with my hand on a bible, and it is iran's grandfathers' bible. we used it for the wedding. we used it for the inauguration. i think it is going to stick. madam chief justice, and governor and mrs. davis, governor and mrs. schwarzenegger, esteemed members of the senate and the assembly, constitutional officers, distinguished guests, fellow californians, thank you for joining me today. governor schwarzenegger, thank you also for your courtesies and health in the transition, and for your tireless efforts to keep california the great exception that it is. [applause]
this is a special moment as executive power passes from one governor to another, determined solely by a majority vote. it is a sacred and special ritual that affirms the people are in charge and that elected officials are given only limited time in which to perform their appointed tasks. for me, the state is also special, because i get to follow in my father's footsteps once again. in 36 years -- [applause] 36 years after my first nomination as governor, even following my own. 1975, it was the ending of the vietnam war and recession caused by the middle east oil embargo. now, as we gather in this
restored auditorium dedicated to those who died in world war i, with soldiers fighting in iraq and afghanistan and our economy caught in the undertow of a delete and a prolonged recession, with so many people of work and some of people losing their homes to foreclosure, it is not surprising voters tell us they are worried. they believe that california is on the wrong track. yet in the face of huge budget deficits year after year and the worst credit rating among the 50 states, our two political parties cannot come close to agreeing on what the right path forward is. they remain in their respective comfort zones, rehearsing and rehashing old political positions. perhaps that is the reason why the public polls rate the state government in such low esteem. that is a profound problem, not just for those of us who are elected, but for our whole
system of self-government. without the trust of the people, politics degenerates into mere spectacle. democracy declines, leaving demagoguery and cynicism to fill the void. the year ahead will demand courage and sacrifice. the budget proposed will assume that each of us were elected to do the people's business, will rise above 80 elegy and partisan interest -- above ideology and partisan interest, and will find what is best for the people of california. [applause] there is no other way forward. in this crisis, we simply have to learn to work together as californians first, members of a political party second. [applause] in seeking the office of
governor, i said i was guided by three principles. first, speak the truth. no more empty promises. [applause] second, no new taxes unless the people vote for them. third, return as much as possible decisions to cities, counties and schools, authorities closer to the people. with your help, that is exactly what i intend to do. the budget a present next week will be painful, but it will be an honest budget. guidance in spending will be matched with available tax revenues. specific proposals will be offered to realign key functions that are currently spread between state and local government in ways that are complex, confusing, and inefficient. my goal is to achieve greater
accountability and reduce the historic shift in responsibility back and forth from one level of government to another. the plan represents my best understanding of our real dilemmas and possibilities. it is a tough budget for a tough time. dealing with the budget gap in the tens of billions, i must point out it is far more than waste and inefficiency that we have to take on. yes, government wastes money. we will do a lot about that, starting this week. but government also pays for the things that most people want and that are approved only after the elected representatives debate their merits and finally bowed them into law. the cover the spectrum from universities, parks, health care, prisons, income assistance, tax incentives, environmental protection, fire fighting, and much else.
but choices have to be made, and difficult decisions taken. at this stage in my life, i have not come here to embrace delay and the nile -- the nile. -- denail. -- denial. [applause] in reflecting on our difficulties, my thoughts turn to those who preceded me and what they faced and what they were able to accomplish. my father took the oath of office as governor 52 years ago. his mother, ida, born on a ranch in 1878. her father, august, born in missouri in 1852 -- leaving missouri in 1852 and traveling across the plains to sacramento. i try to imagine the difficulties by great- grandfather confronted as he left germany and came to america, and then crossed the
plains into california. let me read from the diary that he kept through his long trek westward. on june 26, we came to the first 21 miles. we went there to at night and rose 18 hours ago. july 26, we came to the second largest buyout. here we lost seven oxen which died of thirst. thousands of cows, horses, and mules were lying about dead. the discarded wagons by the hundreds were driven together and burned. we saw when standing them would never be taken out again. more than 1000 guns had been broken up. here on this 40 miles, and treasures that can never be taken out again. we can only imagine what it took for august to leave his family and home and travel across the ocean to america, and across the country, often too
dangerous and hostile territory, in a wagon train. but it gave me this. overcoming every single obstacle, in less than a few years, he went back to his homeland and found a wife. he center around the horn and up the coast of south america, back to california. my grandma is here with us this morning. this march, she will be 99. can you stand up for everybody can see you? can we get a light on here? turn around and see. [applause] by the way, those who are after my job -- it may be a while, so
relax. [laughter] god willing, the genes are good. i will not we can only imagine. here is the point. just my family but every californian is heir to some form of tradition, some history of overcoming challenges more daunting than the ones we face today. from the native peoples who survived the transformation in their way of life to the most recent arrival. stories of courage abound. it is not over. the people of california have not lost their pioneering spirit or their capacity to meet likes challenges.
even in the middle of this recession, californians this year will produce almost $2 trillion of new wealth as measured by our state's domestic product. [applause] all give hope to a more abundant future head. [applause] and so do our teachers, nurses, firefighters, our police and engineers who carry out our undertakings. this is time to assess our
condition and make the tough choices. as we do, we will put our public accounts in order and our economy will produce new jobs just as it has after each of the other 10 recessions since world war ii. as californians, we can be proud that our state leads the rest of the country in the commitment to new forms of energy and energy efficiency. [applause] i set a goal of 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 20/20 and i mean it -- 2020 and i mean. there are no jobs to be created. it will be necessary to make sure our laws and rules focus on our most important to actives, minimizing delays and unnecessary costs.
i will meet with leaders of energy companies and executives from a broad range of business and industry to work on common problems and the breakdowns we have been seeing. we will break the barriers that have been holding us back. we live, after all -- [applause] in the eighth largest economy in the world. california has outpaced the nation's in the growth of our domestic product and in our productivity per capita. that means each person working in this state is working more effectively in terms of what is produced than the country -- in the country than in any other state and. -- in any other state. aside from economic advance, we will do everything we can to ensure our schools, places of --
that our schools are places of relearning. -- real learning. our budget problem is dire. but after years of cutbacks to enhance our public schools so our citizens are prepared to keep california among the best. [applause] one of our native sons became one of the most famous of philosophers. he was born in 1955 in a mining camp that became the town of grass valley. i mention him because his philosophy of loyalty is exactly what is called for. loyalty to the community, to what is larger than our individual needs.
we can overcome the sharp divisions that leave our politics in gridlock. only if we reach into our hearts and find that loyalty, that devotion to california, above and beyond our narrow perspective. [applause] i also mentioned royce because about him.spoke to hiand i understand how this loyalty to california was my father's philosophy as well. it drove him to build our freeways, universities, our public schools, and our state water plants. [applause] in the coming year, we will grapple with problems of our
schools, prisons, and water have to look atand we our system of pensions and how to ensure their transparent and actuarially sound and fair to the workers and fair to the taxpayers. these issues have confronted california one way or another for decades. since the time of gov. earl warren. it is sobering and in lightning to read through the inaugural addresses of past governors. i do not imagine too many of you do that. [laughter] they start on a high note of grandeur and focus on virtually the same recurring issues. education, crime, budgets, water. i thought about this and it strikes me that what we face together as californians are
not such problems but rather, conditions. let's inherent difficulties. a problem can be solved or forgotten. is condition remains. -- a condition remains. it shows is how we depend on one another and how we have to work together. with realism, with confidence, with loyalty, in the deepest as ourhat california, song says, "california, here i come, right back where i started from." thank you. [applause]
$3.50 billion shortfall. a forum on the senate's use of the filibuster. speakers include lamar alexander. live coverage from the heritage foundation begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> for these children, our children, and for all of america's children, the house will come to order. >> with the start of the new congress, look back at the opening of past sessions online at the c-span video library. every c-span program since 1987, more than 160,000 hours. it is washington your way. >> now a panel of journalists. between -- a panel of journalists. this is about 50 minutes.
>> welcome back. if you are feeling the cold, we are going to do something with the temperature. what we will do now is depart from someone standing behind a lectern and talking. a little more relaxed conversation along the table. i extended invitations to them not only because they are appropriate for this occasion,
but because they are friends of mine and nice people. they are supremely knowledgeable about the area's of political life the cover. gail chaddick is from "the christian science monitor." it is a small newspaper but for its size, it is enormously influential. one of the big events in washington is the so-called godfrey sperling breakfast. every major figure wants to be the speaker. she and i have talked about congress for long time together. tony morrow is the correspondent
for the national law journal. he was a journalist at rutgers when i first came there. someone who for a non-lawyer is no. -- more knowledgeable about the supreme court than any lawyer i know. finally, ken walsh, another former workers journalist who is the white house correspondent for "u.s. news and world report." questions which i hope will reveal some the about the president's plans. we will ask them to sit down here and talk about what they
think is going to be happening in the coming year. i am not going to restrict it to the 112th congress. tony will get a lot of business in terms of what is going on at the supreme court. please welcome them. [applause] >> ok, gail. and tony. and me. i have this list of questions for you. i will start out with a general question. over the past 20 years, you have seen a lot of divided government.
a lot of comparisons are being drawn to this year, to 1995, to the great republican victory of the 1994 election. do you see the same thing's happening this time as happened in 1994 or is this going to be a completely unique experience? >> what is interesting about this class is they have the historical background as the last one. when republicans took over the house in 1995, the 1994 election, it was the first time republicans have been in power for more than 40 years. it was not a republican that had any knowledge about what it was like to hold the gavel. or to set an agenda. the notion was used and how, the only way to do something good
for air district was to come to terms with the people that did have power, which is the democrats. then came newt gingrich and some insurgents who said we do not have to put up with this and we can go after them using the media on issues. they have been in here too long. they are out of touch. they are literally corrupt. what was toppling speakers where things that might be laughable. a book deal. trivial compared to some of the things that happened subsequently. when this class came in, there were 74 or 75 strong. there was a sense that history was behind them. they were going to do some dramatic things. their leader was on the front cover of newspapers, magazines,
pushing his own leadership style and identity. these republicans are greater in number. it is not permanent. the democrats stepped back to power and lost it very quickly. what most -- republicans are not seeing this as a historic shift of long duration. they figure they have a few months. -- a few months to make a strong case that the way they are governing is going to be different than the others did. you have the speaker alone, john boehner. no renaming of streets, no tony bennett singing songs. a very modest, simple inaugural. the theme is austerity.
the major element of the inaugural will be his 11 siblings whose presence, covering a different range of experience than most politicians'families have. a modest family. that modesty, a sense of austerity, sense of almost a non-personality. i cannot promise you that john boehner will not cry, he does that a lot. who we will see from him is very much a sense of stepping back. and want thesees i to be heard. people have a chance to make amendments that committees have a chance to function, it will not all come out of the speaker's office. you will not come here just to go. you will be here to be legislators. i will help all the voices participate. it is a huge change from the spirit of the new era which was,
i am the leader and i want to raise centralize power in the speaker's office. this freshman class would not come up with it and john boehner knows it. >> one of the things people are talking about is this visual that will happen in january, when a republican house which in all likelihood will have voted to repeal this health insurance reform, will be sitting in the audience as he delivers the state of the union address. does this signal a kind of hostility that will prevail, or is there some basis for agreement? >> i was here covering the white house during that period gail was talking about when democrats lost control of the house and senate and president clinton had to do with the opposition party.
just a moment on that. that was the year when clinton had to decide whether he was going to go back to what he campaigned as, as a centrist. obama campaigned as a left-of- center. clinton decided that he would go back to his roots. he was pulled to left by the democratic leaders in congress at the time for the first two years, then they lost control. clinton came up with this idea based on the theories of his pollster, dick morris, of triangulation. the idea was, he would borrow from the left and right and come up with what he called a third way. that meant he was moving to the center. it worked because he was able to counterbalance what the country felt or the excesses of the republicans. he won reelection solidly. where we are now is there is
this interesting moment at the state of the union where you will have his opposition behind him. i am sure he will turn around and shake hands with john boehner and make nice at the moment. the question is that we're asking at the white house press corps these days, well that sense of accomplishment from the lame-duck session, where they did get quite a bit done, you could argue about whether it matters and you can talk about that later. the country is much more focused on results in people's lives now rather than action in washington. people are distinguishing between legislation passed and what does it mean for me? people did not feel like what congress has done and what president obama has done has made a difference in their lives. but they will change their minds. -- maybe they will change their minds. the question is, is the spirit of accommodation from the lame duck session, you recall that
this extension of the bush era tax cuts was passed, unemployment benefits pass, the senate ratified the start arms control treaty. there was the passage of the legislation to help the first responders after 9/11, which became a big issue. will that continue? without taking too much time, i think that is in the air. there is a lot of noise in the system that the republicans, pushed by the tea party this conservative movement around the country. a lot of republicans are nervous that if they do not stand up to obama and draw a contrast with him, they're going to be challenged in primaries by the tea party and a lot of them are afraid. they have this feeling among a lot of republicans, how far do they go to compromise and if they go too far, does that mean they're going to be in trouble within their conservative world? i think that is the big
question, we have a lot of things that will come up immediately such as health care. the house wants to repeal it. they may have the votes to do that. doubtful the senate does. you have this question of de- funding health care. taking it on a piece by piece by not paying for it. there is a piecemeal course to a. that will be a flashpoint in the next few months. there is no way to know how it will turn out. that will be a real test of accommodation, compromise, and the spirits of, the -- spirit of comity. >> constitutional challenges to the health reform? judges have come down with opinions to that. challenges to the 14th
amendment. will be a busy year? >> sum of those issues may come to the court. it takes a while. it may not come to the court for a year or so. you are talking about the state of the union address. there is going to be this interesting dynamic between president obama and congress where they are trying to repeal health care reform. you have a group of supreme court justices in the audience who may hold the final say on health care reform unless it is repealed. there is a bit of suspense as to how many justices will attend. you may recall last year's, president obama to doubt the
supreme court and the justices were there in front of him. for the citizens united decision, which repealed or overturned part of the campaign finance laws and corporations and unions made unlimited expenses. president obama criticize them and the justices, as is their custom, they do not react. they said glumly -- sit glumly there as they are the supposed to be political. -- not supposed to be political. several said they will not attend this year because of that. they do not want to be seen as political pawns. there is this dynamic between these two branches, the supreme court and the executive.
congress as well. ross wrote a book about the relationship between the supreme court and congress which is a very useful text. i think there is a danger for bought in the court challenges to the health care reform legislation. several judges have already said it is constitutional. one judge last month ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. there's a part of the law that said all people must get some kind of health insurance. this judge said, the powers of congress do not extend to forcing people to buy something. that is the real test of the power of congress.
how will come out, i am not sure. i would guess that the bill, the health care reform legislation will be upheld in the end. even the supreme court may feel like it should overturn this piece of legislation. it should perhaps leave it to the elected branches. >> there is on the supreme court. tradition, a presumption of constitutionality. there has to be something glaring to have them actually find an act of congress unconstitutional. >> that is right. that is tthe tradition. it is a tradition that fades away. you get five votes to strike something down. that has happened fairly often. senator specter who is departing
from congress voluntarily, he made speech after speech about how the supreme court is dissing congress, is not deferential enough to congress. he had a good point in a way. if congress, if it is unconstitutional, the supreme court is there to say you cannot do this. in grey areas, you're right that there is or should be a presumption of constitutionality. >> there are a couple of interesting and explosives things. the extension of debt limit. people think that will happen in
early march. is there some kind of childish chicken game being played here by people who want to use this as leverage to force down government spending? >> muffing talmadge about that issue. it is real and it is big and people have run on it, they are committed to it. it does sound a lot like, i do not know how many of you have studied world war woman one history. -- worldorld war i history. they discovered trench warfare. it is not great. there are freshmen who are eager. you have heard them making comments. we are ready. we want to see this through and we're not voting to raise the debt limit. i think part of the difficulty
of this issue is that there is a lot of people -- a lot of people think the way to not reach the the debt limit is the same way you do. you stop spending and things will even out. most of our budget, the federal budget is not discretionary spending. it is things like interest on the national debt. interest rates go up even a little bit. amounts ofon of debt t rather quickly. -- amounts of rather quickly. -- mounts up quickly. what to do, that question has not been answered yet. what i am excited about with this congress, especially on the house side, is the promise we will see -- we will see if
speaker elect john boehner keeps the promise. you will see a series of very pointed discussions about what actually is a wasted dollar. where can we cut? what will happen when this country runs up against the debt ceiling? we have nice examples in europe. it is not pretty. greece is not a pretty picture. the thing that concerns me, we're not understanding what the consequences are yet of hitting the debt ceiling and what can be done between now and then to prevent it. if a lot of freshmen have -- a lot of freshmen have told me that they think fox news will save them. they think that the difference between now and when newt
gingrich went toe to toe with the white house, people did not understand that it was clinton's fault. they think this time, thanks to fox news, which a lot of people listen to, people will understand it is a -- the democrats and president obama were not willing to rein in their free-spending ways and the republicans are standing up for righteousness. they think that if government shuts down, it will be short. the reason it was for the last time is republicans got scared about the outcome. i think a lot of this is, even though i started out by saying everyone remembers history, there is a sense in which we do not remember history, or we remember it in a fresh way. i think a fresh way of understanding this vote is one will be a splendid little war and we have a 500 pound gorilla on our side with fox news, and three, we can spare the
democrats down -- scare the democrats down into making cuts that would not make over the threat of a shutdown but we know it will not happen in the end. >> there are a couple of interesting things that are going on in terms of things the white house wanted to do, would like to do, have encountered obstacles. one of which is the environmental problem of greenhouse gas. they do have a supreme court decision behind them. do you think they will push the regulatory liver far enough? will republicans tried to push back on that? >> that is a fundamental question we are asking ourselves, looking at the next two years. the president does have in place an activist epa administrator and a lot of people around him who want him to do just that. to use the regulatory power and
the supreme court decision to push ahead and circumvent congress and take on greenhouse gases. i think a lot is amenable to doing that. -- obama is amenable to doing that. he is somewhat of a mystery as to how far he will go. not only on epa and regulation, but just confronting republicans. this idea of him using regulation and the power of the executive to get things done is something they are debating actively at the white house, because of the problems that will have in congress. you will see a lot of that unilateral action from the president. the question i have and a lot of other people have, how far will he go? a couple of people have pointed out an interesting dichotomy.
he is a liberal pragmatist. he is not a liberal theologian. he will push on liberal issues more government, using government to help people, that sort of thing. he is not interested in running off a cliff in frustration and futility. he will hold up and say if we can get half of what we want, let's do that and not just tried to be too ideological. i think that is right. how that is manifested is a big question and we will see a lot of that on regulation. the more he does it with regulation, the more conservatives will be furious that he is defying the will of the people as they see it and going around congress and that sort of thing. that will stir up the pot. obama is not a confrontational
guide. that is a big question. -- obama is not a confrontational guy. i was reminded of this notion of a obama as a guy who does not like confrontation. people think of him as a chicago creature. the arm-twisting, tough politics from chicago. he was brought up in hawaii, which is a different atmosphere. the aloha spirit. everything needs to get along. he was deeply affected. he talks too. about -- he talks about it to his friends. people say he is going home, not on vacation. he is getting refreshed with these idea -- this idea of people in the pacific and they
have to get along. that is how they define it there. that is another part of obama will be talking about. the idea of him being an accom modationist. hink that if you look at the lame duck, he did go along with bush tax cuts for the wealthy and did get some things in return. the feeling that there is a softness to obama. there is not so much of an iron spine there. that is another thing that will be tested. i have interviewed him a number of times. to get the sense that he is a reasonable guy. maybe he will have to stand up and say no a few times to be taken seriously in a negotiation. >> after the lame duck, didn't
some republicans feel that they had been snookered? >> the feeling is that they did get all the tax cuts which i think is a big goal. on the arms control treaty, he had the foreign-policy establishment in dorset. whatever objections there were were overwhelmed by that. you will find a lot of that limb that spirit fading very quickly. as people start to think, 2012 is what we're focused on now. some thought conservatives could have gone more from obama. you have deadlines and there was the sense that maybe he was too quick to compromise.
a lot of liberals thought he was too quick to compromise. that is the other side. >> when you use the phrase "rolled," -- what alarmed democrats about the lame-duck is when he negotiated, he volunteered social security, volunteered cutting into the social security payroll tax. there are democrats who would cut off an arm rather than yield an inch on what they consider the most perfect piece of legislation that democrats ever produced. they do not want to begin cutting into the viability of social security and the idea that he offered to do it is what bothers them. we need a term rather than "rolled." >> there is a sacred relic,
social security kamala the generated by the democrats. >> whenever i talk about federalism, i see eyes glaze over. you have arizona and other states challenging federal immigration policy by passing laws that clearly, even the most flexible reading of the constitution says is in the realm of the federal government, immigration law. >> we have been talking about this dynamic between the three federal branches but there is this other dynamic with the states. a lot of states are very impatient. if congress is not going to fix immigration, we will. you have this legislation in arizona which outlaws hiring illegal aliens in a way that does not quite fit the federal
scheme. you have it in global warming. a number of states have gone ahead on regulating climate change industry where congress has not yet acted. it is a constant issue before the supreme court. the same -- it is hard to make it come alive. it is a very important dynamic. the supreme court has not really got a clear position on it. it almost depends on what is the state going ahead and doing, and if we like that, it is ok. if we do not, it is not ok. doing whattes are
he liberal things like medical marijuana or the right to die. all the sudden, the justices t who are in favor of state sovereignty, they find a reason to oppose it because they do not like what the states are doing. it is a shifting scenario that is hard to predict. >> let's bring the audience in. questions for our panelists? >> do you have any grownining opposition [inaudible]
>> the supreme court, if you asked the justices that question, he or she would say we do not pay attention to public opinion. of course, that is not true. they live in the world and they read newspapers. the media and -- public opinion will be a factor. an issue like that is so complex, you can find reasons to say yes to a poll that and to turn it down. how -- it is not like a clear black-and-white issue. how do you choose one or the other? i think public opinion will be a factor. if in the next six months, the public starts to like the health care reform and say, we're getting all these benefits, do not take them away, that would be a factor that the court would consider. there would not say, but they
will. would not say, but they will. >> i wanted to ask about the panel [inaudible] >> between the new speaker and obama? what you're hearing is a lot of talk that john boehner is not a hard case says -- as gingrich. he is not callilng the -- calling the attention to himself and be a humble speaker, if that
is possible. what obama will try to do is to use what some people in the white house are calling a charm offensive. with john boehner and some of these other people. john boehner is a golfer. obama will ask him to play golf. >> he is a good golfer. >> that is a good point. you will see him try to use the personal dimensions of the white house and his personality which obama has not done a lot of, even with democrats. and liberals, or the media. you will see him trying to develop a more personal relationship and smooth the edges. i do not see him making much of
a difference. they go back to their beliefs and caucuses and politics. you might have a little more of a cordiality in public. it is not realize that clinton and gingrich got along privately. they saw some common traits in each other. smart, sort of intellectual. knew or thought they knew something about everything. that sort of thing. in private, they got along pretty well. in public, it did not come across that way. >> there are scenarios where they could agree. much to the discomfort of parts of their parties. education is one of those. i have been astonished that the bush administration could put through an education plan in a party that campaigned to
eliminate the department of education, to put through an education plan that gave a strong role to the government. very controversial. a strong role to the federal government. along come ps president obama ad he picks the prize superintendent from the bush years and make some education secretary. he proceeds with the same set of assumptions. accountability is good, testing is good, we need to hold the to the fire of schools if they're not performing. teachers, if they're not performing, teachers' unions that are not performing. there could be an agreement between the republican congress and for the obama education department on cracking down on teachers' unions. it is appalling thought, but it could happen. >> an incredible percentage of members of the national education association attend
democratic conference's. >> the fact that the president would consider some of these does not fit any model of political science. >> a question for tony. you spoke on the grim act. -- dream act. what is your position on it and it being enforced? >> reporters are not supposed to have a position. i think it is a dead letter. it is not going to pass.
i think it would be constitutional. i honestly do not have a position on it. >> he is not being evasive. reporters are different from columnists who writes opinion pieces. if you deal in a way that they -- you have to call them as you see them and not inject your opinion into the reporting that you do. >> i have a general question. how well the general election
affect the presidency? do you think that over the next anyyears, there mayb be surprises that come out of washington that change the face of the government? >> i can start on that. i think the midterms will have more of an effect on republicans. there is chatter in the democratic party about obama being re-nominated. the only real challenge he would face is not from any place except anti-war liberals. why get the sense of is there is no person who could carry the banner effectively and generate enough emotion and response to make a challenge worthwhile except in the anti-were left. a lot will depend on what happens in afghanistan this summer. the rate of withdrawal, what
will happen in iraq. a lot of people on the anti-war left are upset that obama has adopted bush policies, staying in iraq, in afghanistan. that will be the only place i can see a challenge. i do not think that will happen. i do not think it will be that different. the midterms will not make that much difference. he will be re-nominated. everyone expects him to run again. i think it does have a big impact on the republican side. you have this tea party factor that we talked about earlier. a lot of republican presidential candidates are seeing the power that the tea party had in some places. they're worried about getting outflanked to the right. i think that is the concern. you could throw a dozen names of who might run. the conventional wisdom is that
in republican presidential politics, there are avenues that candidates run in to get to the nomination. there is the person at the top of the letter. the entitlement candidate who ran before, it is that person's term. -- that persons turn. you have this common feeling in the party. the person whose turn it is. you have the fiscal and social conservative wing and a business type outsider. that may not make a difference this time. it may not be that way. that is the way a lot of republicans think of it. you have these people take on these rules and get the nomination through those different ways. most of the time, the entitlement candidate becomes the nominee. that may not happen this time. the republicans pay attention to this tea party
conservative resurgence. that will be a big story for the next two years. >> i love your question. all elections set up the next one, whether it is the next president is going to be not the last one. that is the pattern we have seen in the past. what is interesting about thests is what happens with the state houses and the governors. you have tremendous republican gains in state houses. and legislatures. it is a republican legislature that will decide how to read district in light of the last census. the census was a boost to states that vote republican. that is misleading. if you look within those states, they have big cities. the big cities often vote democratic. who gets to carve it up? do you create new districts in
districts that will help republicans? do you karr about the state's that go to blue states that will lose seats? do you take them away in a way that disadvantages democrats more than helps republicans? those are political questions. so much of what is happening in the elections has been the results of gerrymandering. you look at them and you know that no rational reason that the districts should look like this. some of them are not contiguous anymore. as a result, typically, most people are not competitive. i remember being astonished to run across an essay or a speech that richard stroud, a long time "monitor" writer, he wrote for 70 years, and he had two voices. his voice was balanced,
historical, looking forward. it is fun to read what he wrote in both venues. he wrote a speech in which he said how appalling it was the house had been so gerrymandered that it was not competitive. no more than half of the seats were competitive. half the seats? if it is 35, are there 435, we think, very competitive election. look how much it has changed. when you say who gets to decide where the districts are? the fact that republican legislatures and governors in the year when the census has the advantage to republican states, that is a very big issue. it is not as personal as some of the political campaigns are. it is structural. that is why i like your question.
i think it will have a lot to do next what politics in the las 10 years looks like. >> more questions? >> this is for ken. you mentioned obama as soft. i was wondering if [inaudible] changed his support level? >> that is an interesting question. if you have been following this in an impressive way. some people think he is boring. i have met him four times. you hear this from his friends and people around him. obama is not a backslapping, storytelling